it provides just the right amount of involvement for a web browser game. It’s low-key enough that you don’t feel like you’re pouring hours into something distracting but ultimately useless, but it has enough variety and new things to discover that you don’t get horribly bored. (Yes Farmville and your ilk, I’m looking right at you.)
it’s wonderfully atmospheric, well-written and funny–even touching and scary at times–using the very short paragraphs it’s written in.
the artwork is very pretty and just the right ratio of stylized to realistic.
every game with a very active, responsive dev community is a joy to come across, and EBZ is certainly no exception. The level of communication that Failbetter keeps up with their players, implimenting stuff they’d like to see and actively seeking out feedback makes me really happy.
-I love the entire world it has set up. Of course this is probably a no-brainer but I am just putting it on the table, I mean where else do you hear about tomb-colonies and mushroom wine and consorting with devils and cities that fall underground? And cats. Cats are suddenly fantastic and somewhat terrifying.
Many reasons, starting with the setting (I’m an old Verne fan, and I like Conan Doyle, Chesterton and Lovecraft too) and with the relaxed pace. But a couple of things really stand up, confronted with other browser games (say, Ogame and the like).
First, there’s a form of long-term objective represented by the Ambition, and a lot of short and medium term ones, giving a bit of sense to character development so that the game never becomes a meaningless grindfest.
Second, there’s this constant hint of a mystery, the feeling that there’s something out there, that only manifests as bits and pieces of the actual truth, requiring a slow process of discovery and reconstruction to be understood. It’s just fascinating, it tickles my enigmistic side _
Couldn’t have put it better myself. It seems like no matter how much you learn about Fallen London there are still parts of this grand, scary, fascinating conspiracy still going on just out of sight that you’ll never really comprehend no matter how much you study the Correspondance or play the Great Game.
[quote=streetfelineblue]I think the best part of it is knowing that actually there ARE solutions and every mystery has its explanation. And the process of managing them is about as accurate as humanly possible.
Since I read that blog entry, my personal esteem for Failbetter Games staff skyrocketed. edited by streetfelineblue on 12/23/2011[/quote]
Now that is what I like. Anyone can make a bunch of significant-sounding nonsensical mysteries and symbolism (coughLostcough), but knowing that the truth, as they say, is out there… well. Every little implication and inference suddenly becomes much more valuable.
What I like about EBZ is the storyline! It’s amazingly detailed and involved for a browser game. It’s also nice that it’s superbly easy to connect with your own character-you aren’t forced into a particular personality, each decision reflects what you, the player, would do.
I like the stories and the “freedom” on how I get stuff done. And it’s the right free to play. Never forced me to pay anything, like most of these games do. It’s the kind of stuff I miss in modern Role Play Games. Non Combat Gameplay edited by crewmate on 12/28/2011
-Fallen London really, truly is, as they say, ‘deep, dark, marvelous’. It’s an utterly fascinating setting with glorious mysteries just waiting to be solved, and the truth is out there! It’s probably the single best setting I’ve ever encountered in fiction, which given that I read everything is genuinely remarkable.
-The prose is astonishing, not only in its (immense) beauty but in its technical skill. I have seen typos on rare occasions, but never a word out of place. It’s subtle–I don’t even know if other people notice or care about this kind of thing–but it’s craftsmanship.
-The freedom. The fact that Failbetter embraces players arbitrarily deciding to interpret certain things a certain way, and the way they let us define our characters robustly through gameplay and still leave the freedom to make your character whoever you want? It’s a rare gift indeed.
-I think they’ve done ‘freemium’ right. The big, overarching personal story–the Ambition–is free. Everything you need to attain that Ambition is free. Everything you need to enjoy attaining that Ambition is free. And, thanks to the Offers page, you can get a substantial amount of Fate-locked content for free (though, of course, never all of it).
This is a good articulation of something which I’ve also felt but not quite been able to say. Fate is cool to have and I certainly wouldn’t feel cheated were I to buy some, knowing it would go to the Failbetter masterminds who certainly deserve support, financial and otherwise. However, Fate not being at all necessary to play on a casual or even less than casual level is awesome. You don’t feel like you’re being lured in with shiny things that you then have to pay to see even most of.
I like it for a number of reasons. First off, the era is fascinating, and then adding dark eldritch mysteries and devils makes it all the more delicious.
Second, it’s a game that allows you to plumb the depths of depravities in a tasteful manner. There is something pleasing about this. It’s not like some erotic game where the reason for your chase is just an animated pair of boobs. EBZ focuses on the seduction, the heartbreak, all of the wonderfully complex things that come with being a flirt. Your reward is not the release at the end, but the game itself, and this is perhaps the best way to portray a hedonistic character.
Third, as others have stated the fate model is done very well. You’re given small amounts of fate to try out small options as you go, and fate is never required to proceed in the game. The main reward from fate is the addition of new storylines, and if it’s anything like the rest of the storytelling, it will be stellar. Sadly, I’ve yet to purchase any fate (I’m living on a rather tight budget), but if I get a job I’d become an exceptional friend and get some fate in a heartbeat.